Saturday, October 26, 2013

Contemplations, endings, and buddings

So, what am I doing now while I should be completing my listed things-to-do-today? I'm breaking with a cup of tea and biscuit, thinking about the closing-in of the year and beginning of a new one, and contemplating things-I-want-to-do.

The word intentional comes to mind. I used to use that word often. I carried it with me in my regular vocabulary when I taught at a private school up until this past spring. I guess I used it so much that an administrator picked it up and promoted it as well in a variety of good things. But when things went sour with the job and him, it seems that the word did too. I didn't drop it from use on purpose, but maybe subconsciously I felt I didn't have anything intentional to do anymore. Who knows, but it's back, -- coming back --  into use in my thoughts now. 

As I realize that there are less than ten weeks until the end of the year which, for me, will be a new beginning, intentions are beginning to bud. 

Ten weeks! And I feel I have so much to do before then! The majority of these tasks come from settling my mother's estate and cleaning out twenty years of home school clutter. Both have their ends in sight, but, still, it's the little things that stumble me.  (Somehow I cannot justify the grammar of it's the little things, but I've heard it so much that it seems to fit.) Most of the books I'm selling are gone and going. Shelves are still full of those things I've got to decide if I'll keep, but these were not on the to-do-before 01-01-14. They will wait until later. My dining room, though, is full of clutter. Boxes stacked here and there. The table full of boxes and odd items I'm not sure where to put. Even the chairs are holding framed pictures that I'm not sure what to do with. The little things. 

I've always had more trouble with little things. When I sewed, I'd almost rather cut out and build a garment than sew buttons on or put in a hem. I like to do the big things. When I clean house, I'd rather wash the windows than detail the room. So I figure these next few weeks will be tedious, but with my deadline, I am more likely to find a place for everything. 

Then this morning, a book buyer emailed to ask if I had a copy of How to Read a Book. I think she realized from my postings that we are kindred book spirits. Yes, I did have several copies but sold them all during the summer. And, yes, I do have one copy left. My copy. Did I want to sell it off too? I leafed through it. Contrary to many, I really did like this book. I found it helpful. I liked how it talked so much about books. I read it, and I listened to the audio. Do I really want to send it away, I contemplated? After all, I'm not teaching anyone anymore. There are lots of things I don't need now. And just how much do I need to read about how to read a book when it's just me reading mainly now for pleasure? 

Well, How to Read a Book is still on my shelf, and the offer to buy it was declined. Yes, I want to re-read it. I do want to continue to read for pleasure and edification. Just this little thought and decision made some purpose, some intention, begin to return to my days after the clean-up is complete. This transition is going to be a growing one. But it has begun with this bud. I think I've been severely pruned, to grab a gardening term, which has sort of stalled my growth as often happens. I'm grateful to feel, and later hopefully see, the beginning bulge of a new bud. 

New buds, new tasks, new visions -- all coming in the new year of living intentionally again.


Max Weismann said...


We are a not-for-profit educational organization founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery—three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos—lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

Three hours with Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, lively discussing the art of reading, on one DVD. A must for all readers, libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

I cannot exaggerate how instructive these programs are—we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

ISBN: 978-1-61535-311-8

Thank you,

Max Weismann, Co-founder with Dr. Adler

NoaDavis@Greg-J TravelBlog said...

i appreciate your passion and your thoughts.. it was worth reading your post :)